Bad day? Try this simple mantra.
It’s one of those days. A never-ending, coffee drinking, squabble refereeing, button pushing day. The baby won’t be put down, the toddler won’t get dressed and you’re getting backchat from the big one.
You can feel your rage rising.
Can’t they see how tired you are? Can’t they just give it a rest?
It's official, you're a mother in need of a mantra. A phrase to carry you back to being the parent you want to be. Because in the white-hot rage of a tantrum or the flat exhaustion of repetition you need it simple.
Try this one on for size.
It’s not personal
Your children are being just that, children. They don’t hate you. They aren’t trying to win. They’re just doing what children do. Learning and growing with the limited tools that they have available to them.
You spot a leak in your house. It’s getting bigger and starting to flood the floor. You feel a jolt of panic at how out of control it could become.
You pick up your toolkit and find you’ve got the tools for a temporary fix and more importantly a mobile so you can call someone to help you with a better solution.
Your child checks their toolkit too. It only has a hammer in.
Their attempt to fix it doesn’t go so well.
The toolbox is the emotional flexibility you have as an adult to deal with a problem. The mobile is all the people you can call on for help when you really need it.
Your child’s toolkit is, well, pretty empty. Like the hammer in the story, their response to a problem often isn’t that helpful. Cue tantrums and challenging behaviour.
They simply don’t have the tools. They might need to borrow from you or be taught how to use the ones they’ve got more effectively.
It’s not personal.
Repeating this mantra lets you sidestep those tricky emotional hooks that have you yelling at your kids like a crazy person. But also shaking off the script that your children are doing this TO you is freeing. It creates space for a different response.
Children are just being children and you have more options than them.
Take a deep breath and repeat.
It’s not personal.
And if you really need it? Use the mobile.